Using Location-Based Advertising with Text Message Marketing

Businesses have long searched for ways to optimize communications to specifically target people in close proximity with advertisements. It’s why marketers will spend up to $38.7 billion on location-based marketing in 2022. Eighty-four percent already use this type of marketing because it works. Consider the following: 

  • Data shows 83 percent of marketers feel their campaigns are more effective with location-based marketing and see higher response rates.
  • The majority of marketers use location-based advertising to personalize their customer experience and create hyper-engaged audiences.
  • 74 percent of marketers see an improved return on investment and 70 percent see an increased lift.

To maximize the benefits of location-based marketing strategies, companies can add text message marketing to their toolkit of messaging approaches.

Location-Based Advertising (LBA) Techniques

Brands can collect data about their customers’ buying habits and demographics, for example. Then the marketing teams can analyze the data to identify what LBA techniques will reach the target audience. 

Regardless of the LBA method, first review the quality of consumer engagement and conversions into leads, foot traffic and sales. Using a text messaging platform generates a depth of information and immediate feedback based on user responses. You can see whether people you’ve messaged open ads right away, claim coupons, call your store or pay an in-person or virtual visit. 

This information can help you fine-tune your LBA.

Beacons use small physical objects located in specific areas. Programmed to detect signals from user mobile devices in range, the beacons trigger servers to send in-app or SMS ads.

Geo-aware targeting uses real-time location data from mobile service providers to deliver ads via app or SMS to customers within so many feet of the store. 

Geo-conquesting offers a strategy to target customers near — or in — a competitor’s store. Clothing brands, financial services, telecoms and restaurants have capitalized on this approach to influence potential customers by offering better or more attractive deals before they purchase something from a competitor.

Geofencing also enables brands to target customers within predetermined areas by using GPS and radio frequency identification (RFID) to create a virtual fence. This invisible boundary identifies customers within a specifically defined radius around your store and uses the longitude/latitude information gleaned from a mobile device within that area to send the appropriate ads via SMS or app.  

Place-based targeting uses tools like iBeacons to communicate via Bluetooth with iPhones to target a defined area and message ads to customers entering that space within a particular timeframe. Let’s say you decided to catch a movie one afternoon. As soon as you walk into the lobby, your phone would ping with coupons valid for use on snacks during your visit.

Strategies for using SMS for LBA

LBA combines location tracking and mobile ads to show consumers content relevant to their location. Companies can also use LBA to send ads to customers according to their area or ZIP codes — an especially helpful approach for businesses with multiple locations. Perhaps location A is offering one special and location B has a different special. LBA enables you to target relevant customers with the correct information according to their location.

Setting up LBA for text message marketing is simple:

  • Use a web-based signup form to obtain consent. It’s easy to add fields to segment lists by location.
  • Analyze and match customers demographics — where they work and live — to help identify and reach similar target audiences.
  • Control how “niche” the discussion becomes with automation-based conversations.
  • Consider creating location-specific text words (they work the same as keywords) if your business has multiple locations.
  • Use customer data, such as ZIP codes, to design targeted messages allowing you to connect meaningfully with your target audience.

A Few Caveats 

LBA won’t solve all your advertising needs, but it’s a reliable tool when used effectively with text message marketing. It enables more personalization and allows you to provide hyper-relevant information to customers via SMS, leading to greater customer engagement and — hopefully — increased sales. To realize its full potential, take time to collect the data you need by asking questions from your current text list. Verify your data’s relevance and timeliness.  

We spend a lot of time on our phones, and incorporating a mobile first approach into your company’s marketing efforts inclusive of text message marketing makes good strategic sense.